Singing Bird Holistic Health Coaching

Summer Salad with Quinoa & Strawberries

If you know me, or follow my blog at all, you are probably already aware of my slight obsession with quinoa salads. I just can’t get enough of them. They are so easy & quick to make, and they taste so freakin’ good! This one might be my favorite iteration of all time. It can stand alone as a meal for 3 people, or is a great side dish to serve up alongside some grilled fish or chicken. Add a crisp, dry white wine and your evening is pretty much set.

Salad

INGREDIENTS

1 1/2 cups quinoa

3 cups water

1 1/2 cups organic fresh strawberries, diced

1/2 cup red onion, diced

1/2 English cucumber, cut into little chunks

4 cups baby spinach

3 oz goat cheese, crumbled

1 Tbsp. mint, finely chopped

1/8 cup of olive oil

1 avocado, peeled & cubed

juice of 1 large lemon

salt and pepper to taste

INSTRUCTIONS

Add quinoa and water to a small sauce pan. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, cover and simmer for 15 minutes or till all water is absorbed.

Meanwhile, cut up all your veggies + strawberries +mint and add to a large salad bowl (don’t add the avocado yet …save that for last). Add the quinoa to the bowl (it doesn’t even have to be cooled all the way), along with the spinach, and the goat cheese. Drizzle on the olive oil and squeeze on the juice of one big lemon. Add salt and pepper to taste (I usually use about 1/4 tsp. of Trocomare salt and 1/8 tsp. of fresh cracked pepper). Toss to coat and mix everything together. Finally, add the avocado and toss gently.

 

Kale and Winter Citrus Salad

INGREDIENTS

1 head organic lacinto kale

1 large avocado

1 sumo citrus (or other large citrus fruit)

1 blood orange

¼ cup raw almonds, chopped

1-2 Tbsp. olive oil

juice of 1 lemon

¼ tsp. Trocomare or sea salt

black pepper

DIRECTIONS

Wash your kale and remove stalk. Dry and cut into thin strips. Pour olive oil and squeeze lemon over kale. Add salt and pepper. I use a pepper mill and typically crank it 5-10 times. Massage kale with your hands for a minute or so, until the fibers start to break down. Allow kale to sit for 5 minutes and soak in the gorgeous juices.

Peel your avocado and citrus fruits. Cut all into bite-sized pieces, looking out for any seeds in the citrus and removing. Finally, add in your almonds and toss gently.

 

Mediterranean Quinoa Salad

INGREDIENTS

1 cup uncooked quinoa

2 cups water

2 cups arugula

1 10.5 oz package of cherry tomatoes, halved

1 bunch of asparagus

1 can artichoke hearts, drained

1 orange bell pepper, diced

¼ white onion, finely diced

½ can garbanzo beans, drained and rinsed

½ 8.5oz jar of sundried tomatoes in olive oil

¼ cup flat-leaf parsley, chopped

1 Tbsp. mint, finely chopped

1 Tbsp. capers

¼ cup olive oil

2 lemons

½ tsp. Trocomare herb salt

Pepper

Salad2

DIRECTIONS

Rinse quinoa according to package directions. Combine with water in a medium saucepan (ideally with a steamer bucket…we’ll get to that later) and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and let simmer for 15 minutes or until the water has been absorbed.

Wash your asparagus and trim off the rough ends. Cut into 1.5” pieces. Add to the steamer bucket over the quinoa and steam for about 5-7 minutes while the quinoa is cooking. Let the asparagus and quinoa cool.

Drain and lightly rinse the sun dried tomatoes (I don’t like it when they are super oily). Roughly chop.

Add everything but the olive oil, lemons and salt and pepper to a large salad bowl. Drizzle on the olive oil starting with about half of the measure amount. Squeeze in the juice of two lemons, and sprinkle on salt and pepper. Toss well. Taste the salad and see if it needs more dressing. If so, drizzle on the remaining olive oil and toss again.

 

 

Fresh Vegetable Salad

SaladFinal

INGREDIENTS

2 cups edamame beans (thawed if previously frozen)

1 green bell pepper, finely diced

2 cups jicama, cubed

½ cup haricots verts or green beans, chopped

3 ears of corn

1 cup roasted cashews, roughly chopped

2 avocados, cubed

2 tablespoons rosemary, finely chopped

1 garlic clove, minced

3 tablespoons olive oil

2 tablespoons unfiltered apple cider vinegar

½ teaspoon sea salt

¼ teaspoon pepper

Corn

DIRECTIONS

Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil. Add corn, cover and cook for three minutes. Remove corn from hot water and place on a plate to cool. Once cooled, cut the corn kernels from the husk.

Combine edamame beans, bell pepper, jicama, green beans, corn and cashews in a large salad bowl. (A note on the beans: I bought a frozen package of edamame from Whole Foods, followed the package instructions and heated them on the stove, and let them cool before adding them to the salad.) Add the rosemary, olive oil, apple cider vinegar, garlic, salt and pepper and toss well to coat. Add the avocado and gently mix into the salad.

 

Thai Massaged Kale Salad

ThaiKale2

INGREDIENTS

1 bunch lacinto/dino kale

2 tablespoons olive oil

2 carrots, roughly grated

4 red radishes

1 red bell pepper

½ cup roasted cashews

1 avocado

3 scallions

¼ cup cilantro, chopped

2 limes

3 tablespoons coconut milk

1 teaspoon ginger, finely chopped

1 tablespoon crunchy almond butter

1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper

¼ teaspoon sea salt

1 clove garlic, minced

DIRECTIONS

Begin by washing your kale well. Pat dry with a paper towel or put the leaves in a salad spinner. Hold the kale by the stalk and in one fluid movement, tear the leaves off the stalk. Put all the leaves in a single pile. Roll ‘em up like a burrito and then slice them crosswise into thin strips. If you are confused, here is a little video tutorial you can check out (the washing and slicing starts about a 1 minute and 30 seconds into the video): http://www.marinmamacooks.com/2013/06/lacinato-kale-salad-video-tutorial/)

Put your kale into a large salad bowl. Drizzle with 2 tablespoons of olive oil and the juice of 1 lime. Massage the kale for a few minutes. Really get in there; work out the kinks. Kale is such a hearty green and massaging it helps to break down the fibers and make it more palatable. Set aside.

Thinly slice your radishes and scallions, julienne the red bell pepper, and grate the two carrots. Add to the kale along with the chopped cilantro and cashews.

For the dressing, in a small bowl combine the coconut milk and almond butter. Stir until mixed and relatively smooth. Squeeze in the juice of one lime. Add in the chopped ginger, minced garlic, cayenne pepper and sea salt. Stir until combined.

Pour the dressing over your salad. Toss to mix all the ingredients and get the dressing evenly distributed. Top with fresh avocado slices!

This salad tastes great when eaten immediately, but it’s kind of amazing because it actually got even better the next day. Because kale is so hearty, it doesn’t wilt when dressed like other lettuce has a tendency to do. That makes this salad a great option to make a lot of on a Sunday night. Use it as a side on Sunday, and then add a few chickpeas on Monday and take it to work with you! I love meals that you can eat multiple times!!

Enjoy!

Spring Salad with Fennel, Spiced Pecans, and Mint

INGREDIENTS

2 cups baby arugula or baby spinach

2 ½ cups cooked quinoa

½ apple (preferably green, but other varieties work as well…I used a Pink Lady here)

½ fennel bulb

1 avocado

1 oz. goat cheese, crumbled

1 cup spiced pecans

1 Tbsp. mint

Juice of one lemon

¼ cup olive oil

¼ tsp. Trocomare or sea salt

Freshly cracked pepper to taste

This may be the best quinoa salad in the history of quinoa salads. It’s light, deliciously crunchy, and perfect for warming temperatures. It also features a few of my current favorites: quinoa, fennel, spiced pecans, and mint. You may have already noticed that I use quinoa in my recipes a lot. It’s super healthy for you, tastes great, is an easy substitution for other grains or starchy carbs (pasta, rice, etc.), and it is ready in 15 minutes.

Fennel and spiced pecans are new obsessions.

If you have never cooked with fennel, it has a crunch similar to celery and a mild taste of black licorice. I don’t like licorice at all, but I love fennel. So even if you are not a licorice fan, definitely give fennel a whirl! According to The Encyclopedia of Healing Foods by Michael Murray, fennel has had a long history as a medicinal plant mainly used for helping with digestive ailments.

Mr. Murray also states, “Fennel is an excellent source of vitamin C, potassium, and dietary fiber. It is also a very good source of phosphorus and folic acid. In addition, fennel is a good source of the minerals magnesium, manganese, iron, calcium, and molybdenum.” Basically, this shit’s good for you.

Pecans are also good for you (a good source of oleic acid and cholesterol-lowering plant sterols), but let’s be real. I am eating them like they are going out of style because they taste so dang good.

And then mint. Mint has become my new favorite herb to add to juices and salads. It’s just so fresh tasting!! Of course like all other herbs and whole foods, it also comes with a slew of health benefits. Mint has been known to ease digestive woes, reduce allergy symptoms, and potentially even help to prevent cancer!!

DIRECTIONS

Add your quinoa and greens to a big salad bowl. Cut your apple and avocado into cubes, and add to the salad bowl.

Prepare your fennel bulb. This is a great little article on how to easily cut your fennel into slices http://www.bhg.com/recipes/how-to/cooking-basics/how-to-chop-fennel/. We are only going to use half in the salad, but save the rest (along with the leafy stalks) and use them in a juice! Add your fennel strips into the salad bowl.

Chop the mint and add to your salad as well, along with the crumbled goat cheese and spiced pecans.

Drizzle the olive oil over your salad; add the juice of one lemon, your sea salt and cracked pepper. Toss to coat.

I recommend using quinoa that you have cooked a day before, but if you don’t have any on hand you can easily make some. I have even added it into the salad warm and it’s still delicious!

Arugula Salad with Mint and Asparagus

I originally got the idea for this salad from my brother. He was talking about a delicious side salad that he had made using a lot of mint. The light bulb went off! I love adding herbs to my salads because I think it adds such a nice little flavor kick, but I hadn’t tried mint before. This salad is light and refreshing, perfect for warmer weather or if you have been eating lots of heavy meals and need to freshen it up a bit. The recipe below makes two main course servings or four side salad servings. I think this would be amazing to serve with pretty much any grilled protein…chicken, salmon, steak, yum. Or it is a great light meal on its own too!

INGREDIENTS

2 cups cooked quinoa

2 cups arugula

1/2 pound of asparagus, trimmed and cut into 1-inch pieces

5 oz cherry tomatoes, halved (about 2 handfuls)

2 hard-boiled eggs, roughly chopped

A few red onion slivers to taste

2 Tbsp mint, chopped

For the dressing:

1/2 lemon, juiced

2 Tbsp olive oil

Sea salt and fresh cracked pepper to taste

DIRECTIONS


To cook quinoa, rinse 1 cup in cold water and drain. Add the quinoa and 2 cups of water to a pot and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to simmer, cover and cook for 15 minutes or until all liquid is absorbed. Let cooked quinoa cool a bit, at least 15 minutes.

Add your eggs to another pot of water, bring to a rolling boil and cook for roughly 9 minutes. Afterwards, drain and let the eggs cool in a bath of cold water. When they have cooled, peel and chop.

Meanwhile, in steamer, steam your asparagus for 3-4 minutes till crisp tender.

Add quinoa, arugula, asparagus, tomatoes, red onion, eggs, and mint to a bowl.

Squeeze the juice of 1/2 lemon over the salad. The squeezer gets a lot more juice out, so if you are squeezing by hand you may want to use the entire lemon. Drizzle over the 2 Tbsp of olive oil, and season with salt and pepper. Toss all the ingredients and you are good to go!